The Stalls of Doom

“A Call to Clean Up Ridge’s Restrooms.”


I’ve little intention of criticizing our school’s custodians. They all do a wonderful job and are much appreciated. Nonetheless, I feel obligated to comment on the current state of Ridge’s student restrooms, the men’s restroom(s) specifically.


Speaking on behalf of Ridge’s male alumni is no easy task; there’s a distinct gap in interests between freshman boys and near-adult seniors. It’s fair to say that most seniors could care less about the state of the restrooms, as with age comes the dissipation of public anxiety. Freshman on the other hand are literally consumed by stomach pain at the mere thought of having to use the restroom stalls.


The creeping nervousness that’s derived from the vivid imagery of half-destroyed restrooms is something that plagues the best of us. Scenes of entire rolls of toilet paper, drenched in water and spewn about the tile are commonplace. Vulgar etchings (those of which range from humorous remarks to puzzlingly racist ruminations) often decorate a stall’s interior. I’m not willing to compare the restrooms to a warzone, yet I can certainly say that I’ve seen cleaner facilities within the gas stations that reside in the heart of Apache Junction.


This is seemingly something that only applies to the men’s restroom. Of course, I have no concept of the interior of the women’s restroom, but numerous remarks over the years have indicated that in regards to general hygienic quality, they’re far superior.


An apparent trust issue seems to be a factor in what has driven our school’s male restrooms into their deplorable ruin. Mirrors have been revoked within most of the buildings, and usually the stalls aren’t fitted with appropriately secure locks (this being something that definitely adds to a sense of vulnerability.) The men’s restroom for students during lunch isn’t fitted with a closeable door, unlike the women’s restroom right next to it.


The duality of the situation is blatant and appalling; it’s easy to recognize, however, where the problem stems from.


For the rowdiest male students, or those who’ve no interest in their classes, the bathroom stalls may act as a haven to get away from the troubles of a school environment. They’re made disgusting because it’s a small space for students to, hypothetically, let loose and enjoy a few minutes to expel any built up anger or irritation; it’s a space to creatively let out one’s inner energy. Of course vaping (maybe cigarettes if they’re taking after their parents generation,) and smoking weed is an issue that definitely contributes to the trust factor. Even still, the conditions of the restrooms are disgusting for anyone not interested in these activities.


It’s faulty reasoning for everyone’s privileges to be revoked based on the actions of a few outliers. Literal crimes and mischief can be reported; there isn’t an underground conspiracy amongst all male students (as far as I know).


There isn’t much else to comment on, so to conclude, I shouldn’t be able to appropriately assign the title of “The Stalls of Doom” to our men’s restrooms. Of course, they’re a place to do one’s business, not for fun and communal plotting, yet the environment should still feel secure and relatively comfortable. Thus, I offer now a proposal, that being to invest in better cleaning up the men’s restroom and implementing a greater sense of privacy and security.


If fair limitations have to be set in order to prevent direct crimes or disorderly conduct, then so be it, but on behalf of Ridge’s male students, I ask for something effective to be done as soon as possible. I admit that I myself don’t use the restrooms often, but on the occasions which I must, I do find myself wanting to leave as soon as possible, while touching as little as possible; my intentions in writing this are based on genuine care and concern.